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Creating Structure to Achieve Your Goals

You don't just head out and run 100+ miles.

It doesn't matter how strong or fit you are - you need to train. You need to log dozens of training miles. But more importantly, you need to make time.

This was my biggest takeaway from training for the Grand to Grand Ultra.

As a father, small business owner, and aspiring endurance athlete - it seemed like there was never enough time in the day. I would wake up early with the kids, eat breakfast, commute to the office, treat patients, commute home, say goodnight to the kids, then head out to train. I felt 'rushed' and, at times, not fully present as I was preparing for the next task on the list.

This was until I spent time to organize my time and create a schedule.

How much time was I wasting? Precious minutes wasted mindlessly scrolling through social media.

How much time was lost due to inefficiency? Even more time lost meandering through the laundry in search of clean socks or looking through the refrigerator to pack a lunch at the last minute.

Creating a schedule to find order in a chaotic life was a game changer.

So many people fail to achieve a goal (i.e. recover from an injury, get out of pain, lose weight, complete a race, or any other personal/professional goals) because they do not spend time to create a schedule. Without a schedule, it is easy to let time 'get away' from you. Over time, this accumulates and your goal slowly slips away.

Instead, I challenge you to organize your time more effectively and efficiently next year.

First, spend some time setting your goals for next year. They should be specific and measurable - meaning that you can measure whether or not you achieved that goal. For example, instead of saying that you want to lose weight, get stronger, or run faster, you should say that you want to lose 10 pounds, perform a 315 pound squat, and run a sub-5:00 mile. In addition, they should have an end date - meaning that the goal should be accomplished by a certain date.

This allows you to begin to create a plan for reaching that goal and determine whether you are on track to reach that goal throughout the process.

I will go into more detail on goal setting, creating a plan, and formulating measureables in the next post.

That being said, you can spend some time creating a schedule next.

Write down tasks that must be accomplished daily. For example, bed time, wake time, morning routine (i.e. bathroom, brush teeth, meditate, get dressed, etc.), scheduled meal times, commute to work, work schedule, exercise, family time, evening routine (i.e. pack lunch, choose clothes, etc.).

Next, add in any tasks that must be accomplished weekly. For example, laundry, taking out the garbage, date night, etc.

Finally, write down any tasks or habits related to your goal (health, fitness, personal, professional) that must be accomplished either daily or weekly.

Write down how much time each task takes to complete.

Then, organize these tasks as efficiently as possible. Which tasks can be performed together or sequentially? Which tasks can be delegated or eliminated?

Lastly, create a Google calendar and input these into a schedule that you can review on a daily basis.

If you have a spouse, like me, I recommend that you add one or two additional steps. That is to have a conversation about your goals (why they're important to you and your plan to achieve them). When times are tough, its always good to have a cheerleader on your side.

You may also need to confirm that the schedule you created works with your spouse. You may be so focused on a goal that you lose sight of things that are important to them (i.e. family time, date night) or other roles/responsibilities that are expected of you.

Once you've completed these steps and found order in a chaotic world, you will find more time to work towards your goals with less of a chance of 'falling off' throughout the process.

Now, let's get started!

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